Medieval crusader armies had remarkable genetic diversity

| | May 1, 2019
4-25-2019 facts medieval crusader state armies
Image: Scout
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Crusader armies were made up of people from remarkably genetically diverse backgrounds, hailing not just from western Europe but also much further east, according to a new study that gives unprecedented insight into the fighters’ lives.

The Crusades to the Holy Land were spread over two centuries, with many Europeans heading east to fight, and others turning up to trade.

While experts say it is well known that high-ranking crusaders entered into marriages with Armenians to shore up political allegiances, the study adds to evidence that footsoldiers were also striking up relationships as they headed east.

Writing in the American Journal of Human Genetics, researchers in the UK, Lebanon and Belgium report how they extracted DNA from remains believed belong to medieval crusaders. The remains, dating from the 13th century, suggest violent deaths and were found in a mass burial pit near a crusader castle in Sidon – a coastal port city in what is now Lebanon, but was once part of the crusaders’ kingdom of Jerusalem.

Related article:  New analysis of Dead Sea scrolls reveals minerals not typically from region

They used existing genetic data from modern-day people and a wider range of ancient individuals, as well as newly extracted DNA from local Roman remains, to make comparisons.

Read full, original post: Crusader armies were remarkably genetically diverse, study finds

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
a a b b a f ac a

Video: Death by COVID: The projected grim toll in historical context

The latest statistics, as of July 10, show COVID-19-related deaths in U.S. are just under 1,000 per day nationally, which is ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
breastfeeding bed x facebook x

Infographic: We know breastfeeding helps children. Now we know it helps mothers too

When a woman becomes pregnant, her risk of type 2 diabetes increases for the rest of her life, perhaps because ...
biotechnology worker x

Can GMOs rescue threatened plants and crops?

Some scientists and ecologists argue that humans are in the midst of an "extinction crisis" — the sixth wave of ...
food globe x

Are GMOs necessary to feed the world?

Experts estimate that agricultural production needs to roughly double in the coming decades. How can that be achieved? ...
eating gmo corn on the cob x

Are GMOs safe?

In 2015, 15 scientists and activists issued a statement, "No Scientific consensus on GMO safety," in the journal Environmental Sciences ...
Screen Shot at PM

Charles Benbrook: Agricultural economist and consultant for the organic industry and anti-biotechnology advocacy groups

Independent scientists rip Benbrook's co-authored commentary in New England Journal calling for reassessment of dangers of all GMO crops and herbicides ...
Screen Shot at PM

ETC Group: ‘Extreme’ biotechnology critic campaigns against synthetic biology and other forms of ‘extreme genetic engineering’

The ETC Group is an international environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Canada whose stated purpose is to monitor "the impact of emerging technologies and ...
Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend